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10 Best Superfoods for Healthy & Glowing Skin 2023

Cassi Donegan

Updated on - Written by
Medically reviewed by Dr G. Michael DiLeo, MD

superfoods for skin

What you allow yourself to eat will either help provide skin protection or allow inflammation and skin damage. 

If you eat foods that you are allergic or intolerant to, you may wind up with dry skin, acne breakouts, and skin irritation. But if you are putting superfoods in your body that contain vitamin E and vitamin C that can reduce inflammation, then you may experience the glowing complexion you’ve always wanted. 

One way you can make sure to get a good variety of vitamins and minerals required to keep your skin healthy is green superfood powders

The following list of superfoods for skin can be used to make your week’s meal plan that will prioritize skin health.

10 Best Healthy Superfoods for Glowing Skin

  1. Avocado
  2. Chia seeds
  3. Citrus fruits
  4. Collagen
  5. Dark chocolate
  6. Green tea
  7. Green superfood powders
  8. Healthy fats
  9. Pumpkin
  10. Sweet potatoes

10 Best Healthy Superfoods for Glowing Skin

Avocado

superfoods for skin

Avocado, grown on trees, is a fruit full of creamy yellow-green flesh. This is a great food for supporting healthy skin. It is dense in minerals, proteins, and omega-3 fatty acids. 

It also contains vitamins A, C, D, and E. These nutrients keep skin firm and encourage its ability to speed up[1] wound healing. 

An 8-week study[2] showed that those who ate an avocado daily experienced a significant increase in skin elasticity.

Another study[3] showed the anti-inflammatory properties of avocado’s fats act as a natural sunblock against ultraviolet radiation that can cause skin cancers. It protected the skin it was applied to. It also enhanced DNA repair and reduced cellular damage. It may be the perfect food that protects the skin from the harmful effects of sun exposure.

Avocados are a true superfood for skin and can be used topically with avocado oil products, but the best health benefits come from including them in your meals. 

It can be added to smoothies or smashed to make a filling avocado toast for breakfast. Don’t forget about guacamole, an easy and delicious way to fill up this healthy protein any day or time. 

Chia Seeds

superfoods for skin

Chia seeds are from a plant called Salvia hispanica. These edible seeds are very small and dark in color. 

These seeds are great for skin care. They are high in omega-3 fatty acids that help produce your skin’s natural oils that promote wrinkle-free, hydrated[4], and supple skin. 

Eating these can promote healthy skin since they are high in fiber, minerals, and antioxidants. Antioxidants fight free radicals that can cause skin cancer and the effects of aging. They also reduce redness, the effects of sun damage and help to keep your skin appear younger.

You can easily incorporate these seeds into your diet. You can add them to your smoothies or overnight oatmeal. 

This also makes a great egg replacement when you’re cooking and baking. To substitute for an egg, soak 1 tablespoon of seeds in 3 tablespoons of water for each egg you want to replace. In a few minutes, it turns into an egg-like consistency that helps hold your foods together as an egg would. 

Citrus Fruits

superfoods for skin

Citrus fruits come from evergreen trees and shrubs. Some popular ones are grapefruits, oranges, mandarins, lemons, and limes. 

Vitamin C promotes[5] collagen synthesis, which is essential in keeping your skin smooth. It aids in neutralizing free radicals that cause wrinkles. It also serves as an exfoliant for scaly skin and promotes an even skin tone. 

A medium-sized orange can give you over 100% of the daily requirement for this vitamin.

Fruit makes a great addition to your breakfast with whole grains or proteins. You can use it as a topping for salads and oatmeal, make smoothies, or have it by itself as a healthy snack. 

Collagen

superfoods for skin

Collagen is a protein and its fibers are about 80% of your skin weight, so adding this to your diet is a smart move. 

Your body naturally produces collagen by combining amino acids together. This takes many nutrients like vitamin C, zinc, copper, glycine, and proline to be successful.

Collagen is essential for your skin’s elasticity and connective tissue health. It increases blood flow and helps give your skin and blood vessels their structure. It also helps to keep your skin hydrated[6], repairs wounds, and slows down the aging of your skin[7]

This superfood skincare option is one of the best you can choose for your skin, bones, and whole body. As you get older, the collagen you have starts to break down, and your body doesn’t produce it as well. 

Thankfully, there are some quality collagen products on the market. Bone broth is also an excellent source of collagen.

Dark Chocolate

superfoods for skin

Dark chocolate contains superfood qualities compared to milk chocolate. This is the type of chocolate labeled 70-85% cocoa on the label. 

It doesn’t usually contain the added sugar, dairy, and cocoa liquor that many other chocolates have added, making the dark kind a healthier option. 

This chocolate is loaded with iron, magnesium, and flavonols that protect our skin and cells against free radicals. It improves the quality of your skin and may protect it from harmful UV damage[8]

This superfood helps lower stress levels, and it’s reasonable to have 1-2 ounces a day. 

Green Tea

Green Tea

This tea is the richest in polyphenols and antioxidants compared to other teas. It works to reduce inflammation, redness, and dark spots with its high nutritional value. 

This study[9] reports green tea may protect against cancer and repair DNA damage from the sun. 

The caffeine levels in this tea are relatively low, at about 28 milligrams per 8-ounce cup, so you can drink this several times a day if you want. Just steep a bag of it in hot water and enjoy.

If you have minor wounds or sunburns that need soothing, you can directly apply the tea. It is used to treat acne so you can make or buy green tea masks to apply to your face. 

Green Superfood Powders

Green Superfood Powders

Green powders are supplements that are superfoods for skin and hair. They contain many vitamins and minerals needed for your blood circulation and skin health. 

Most green powder products have all the nutrients you need to promote collagen growth. They may protect you from premature aging, boost your immune system, and help you detox. 

Many powders have probiotics, digestive enzymes, and antioxidant-rich grasses, which can result in bright and glowing skin. The vitamin E it has may help[10] if you have dark under-eye circles and wrinkles.

If you don’t enjoy the taste of this mixed with water, try adding it to your smoothie, vegetable dips, soups, and salad dressing. 

Healthy Fats

Healthy Fats

Healthy fats are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. You can find them in nuts, seeds, oily fish, and vegetable oils like olive oil.

The body cannot make essential fatty acids. Including them in your diet is important, and these skin superfoods are one way to do that.

The antioxidants in these fats protect your body from the effects of sun damage. The omega-3s and omega-6s help build healthy cell membranes and help keep skin hydrated, lower inflammation, and help protect against infection.

Pumpkin

Pumpkin

Pumpkin is a fruit that grows on a vine. It contains many vitamins and minerals needed for skin health like magnesium, zinc, iron, and essential B-vitamins. 

It’s a good source of potassium which helps keep sodium levels balanced, leaving your skin hydrated and supple. 

The antioxidant properties of pumpkin can reduce skin inflammation. The omega-3 fatty acids it contains can keep your skin cells healthy. It’s also full of fiber to help your digestive tract purge the toxins that can damage skin cells. 

Pumpkin contains beta-carotene, which your body turns into vitamin A. This vitamin helps the top layers of your skin to glow. It also helps to heal and prevent acne breakouts. Vitamin A and zinc assist in collagen production to promote smooth skin texture. 

You can include pumpkin and pumpkin seeds into your diet to enjoy its benefits. Pumpkin seed oil can be purchased to apply directly to your skin. 

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are nutrient-filled, starchy root vegetables that grow under the soil’s surface. They can be purple, orange, or white and belong to the morning glory family. 

Sweet potatoes have beta-carotene and vitamin E and are rich in fiber which can help promote healthy blood sugar levels and smooth out your skin. 

It makes it on the list of vitamin A foods for the skin, which means it helps treat acne and can reduce fine lines and wrinkles[11]

The vitamin C in this potato works to reduce dark spots and works against free radical damage by reducing oxidative stress.

The Bottom Line

Skin is not only the body’s largest organ, but it’s also the body’s first line of defense. Foods tend to either help or harm this defense. Including superfoods in your routine can keep your skin healthy and help provide you with the glowing complexion you’re hoping to receive.


+ 11 sources

Health Canal avoids using tertiary references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic researches from medical associations and institutions. To ensure the accuracy of articles in Health Canal, you can read more about the editorial process here

  1. Nayak, B.S., Raju, S.S. and Chalapathi Rao, A.V. (2008). Wound healing activity of Persea americana (avocado) fruit: a preclinical study on rats. Journal of Wound Care, [online] 17(3), pp.123–125. doi:10.12968/jowc.2008.17.3.28670.
  2. https://connect.uclahealth.org/. (2022). Eating an avocado daily increases elasticity and firmness in skin, study shows. [online] Available at: https://connect.uclahealth.org/2022/01/26/eating-an-avocado-daily-increases-elasticity-and-firmness-in-skin-study-shows/
  3. Rosenblat, G., Meretski, S., Segal, J., Tarshis, M., Schroeder, A., Zanin-Zhorov, A., Lion, G., Ingber, A. and Hochberg, M. (2010). Polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols derived from avocado suppress inflammatory response and provide non-sunscreen protection against UV-induced damage in skin cells. Archives of Dermatological Research, [online] 303(4), pp.239–246. doi:10.1007/s00403-010-1088-6.
  4. Huber, K.L., Fernández, J.R., Webb, C., Rouzard, K., Healy, J., Tamura, M., Voronkov, M., Stock, J.B., Stock, M. and Pérez, E. (2020). HYVIATM: A novel, topical chia seed extract that improves skin hydration. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, [online] 19(9), pp.2386–2393. doi:10.1111/jocd.13469.
  5. Graceffa, V., Wu, Z., Gaspar, D., Spanoudes, K., Isa, I.L.M., Biggs, M., Mullen, A.M., Pandit, A. and Zeugolis, D.I. (2017). 2.21 Xenogenic Tissues and Biomaterials for the Skeletal System ☆. Comprehensive Biomaterials II, [online] pp.471–504. doi:10.1016/b978-0-12-803581-8.10204-8.
  6. Bolke, L., Schlippe, G., Gerß, J. and Voss, W. (2019). A Collagen Supplement Improves Skin Hydration, Elasticity, Roughness, and Density: Results of a Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Blind Study. Nutrients, [online] 11(10), p.2494. doi:10.3390/nu11102494.
  7. Al-Atif, H. (2022). Collagen Supplements for Aging and Wrinkles: A Paradigm Shift in the Field of Dermatology and Cosmetics. Dermatology Practical & Conceptual, [online] p.e2022018. doi:10.5826/dpc.1201a18.
  8. Williams, S., Tamburic, S. and Lally, C. (2009). Eating chocolate can significantly protect the skin from UV light. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, [online] 8(3), pp.169–173. doi:10.1111/j.1473-2165.2009.00448.x.
  9. Katiyar, S.K. (2011). Green tea prevents non-melanoma skin cancer by enhancing DNA repair. Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, [online] 508(2), pp.152–158. doi:10.1016/j.abb.2010.11.015.
  10. Mitsuishi, T., Shimoda, T., Mitsui, Y., Kuriyama, Y. and Kawana, S. (2004). The effects of topical application of phytonadione, retinol and vitamins C and E on infraorbital dark circles and wrinkles of the lower eyelids. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, [online] 3(2), pp.73–75. doi:10.1111/j.1473-2130.2004.00070.x.
  11. Kafi, R., Kwak, H.S.R., Schumacher, W.E., Cho, S., Hanft, V.N., Hamilton, T.A., King, A.L., Neal, J.D., Varani, J., Fisher, G.J., Voorhees, J.J. and Kang, S. (2007). Improvement of Naturally Aged Skin With Vitamin A (Retinol). Archives of Dermatology, [online] 143(5). doi:10.1001/archderm.143.5.606.
Cassi Donegan

Written by:

Cassi Donegan, LPN

Medically reviewed by:

Michael DiLeo

Cassi Donegan, Licensed Practical Nurse, is a freelance health writer and editor. She has over 17 years of nursing experience in various specialties including Neurology, Orthopedics, Spine, and Pediatrics. Patient care has convinced her to be passionate about educating others on nutrition, natural childbirth, home birthing, and natural remedies for the holistic and alternative healthcare field.

Medically reviewed by:

Michael DiLeo

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